Does anyone else skip lessons?

Hi! Carlos here. I’ve been playing and learning with Justin’s lessons from the very beginning. I learned how to hold the guitar with him and after a few months I think I’m pretty good at it.

I’m currently in grade 3, module 19. I have skipped some lessons as I felt overwhelmed by the different techniques that we have to learn during the course. I have focused in practicing barre chords, alternate picking, triads, legato, scales, power chords, basic chords and sus chords and always strumming with a pick.

I tried but I don’t really practice anymore any finger style, blues chords or transcribing songs.

I’m curious about how other beginners practice and if you also skip some lessons or at least give more importance to some of them. Also, if you think finger style is important and I should also practice it more. Thanks!

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I think it’s worth having a look at all of the lessons but if it’s a technique/style that isn’t relevant to your direction right now then I don’t think it’s necessary to put a load of time into something you’re not going to use. If at a later stage you get the urge to try finger style you can always come back to it. I do at least watch all of the lessons though so I see if I’m missing anything important, maybe some little but useful tip


So G3 M19 after a few months ?

I think you may have skipped way too much or glossed over some core elements to help you play guitar. If you are skipping loads of lessons it will be like building on sand. If you don’t establish a strong foundation that house will fall down around your ears.

I would say fingerstyle take a look and maybe come back later but don’t skip anything, maybe just dip your toe in here and there. You may just need those techniques down the line.

I just hope you have learnt loads of songs in those first few months and applied everything you have learnt.

Guess I have to say this one more time. This is not a sprint, regulars can fill in the rest.



I’ve been watching them all, including things that by the title, I don’t immediately find inspiring. I’m enough of a completionist to want all the green check marks, and I want to build a solid foundation. I’ve even been surprised along the way - some lessons that I’ve put off have turned out to be a lot more fun and interesting than I thought.


I’m consolidating Grade 2 - have been for quite a while now! Going through the lessons the first time, power chords didn’t resonate; and while I enjoyed the blues lessons more than I expected, I quickly became bored. In consolidating I’ve realized that the techniques taught in each lesson are useful no matter what I’m playing. For example: I don’t play songs with power chords, but the practice helped me as I began changing between barre chords and moving them around on the neck. The blues lessons are great for strumming and rhythm. This realization caused me to take a deep breath, slow down, and go back and revisit those techniques! We’re all different, of course, but for me I prefer doing a few things well, rather than a bunch of things less well.


I should’ve specified more and maybe used other word and not skipping lessons. I do watch all the lessons and at least I try to see how it works, but I don’t actually practice that lesson anymore because I want to focused in the other techniques that I mentioned before.

I’ve been practicing for 8 months and I practice everyday at least one hour. One and a half or two if I can. I do play almost 20 songs, some of them only the main riff.

Thanks for the answers!

By this stage you should be playing songs all the way through, as per the sign off requirements for each Grade. The techniques you mentioned suggest you are primarily interested in playing lead. If you have no rhythm foundation you will have no lead rhythm, they go hand in hand. Go back learn songs and play them end to end. The aim is to learn to play the guitar in its entirety and you can then play any song. Don’t be a bitsa player. I spent 17 years doing that. I would also suggest trying to practice everything at least until you have a fundamental grasp, not just watching the video lesson, get hands on. If its not for you move on but at least give it a go. JMHO.


I’m just over two years into this guitar adventure and I’m still only about 60% complete. I don’t really follow the G3 material in the set out order as I’ve been dipping my toes into other stuff (more fingerstyle, blues and songwriting). But (with a capital ‘B’) I don’t plan on skipping the lessons, I plan to complete them all before moving on to the intermediate materials. Like @TheMadman_tobyjenner says it’s all about building strong foundations by getting as much mileage out of the beginner lessons.


Hi Carlos, please listen to Toby. He is wise in the way of JG :wink:

While you don’t mention how many of those 20ish songs you can play fully, intro riffs do not count as “learning a song” as far as completing the grade requirements. I definitely get how fun playIng a good riff is, but you end up missing a lot of fundamentals and short changing yourself if you don’t learn complete songs.

As others have mentioned, 8 months to get to where you are in grade 3 is lightning fast. While everyone learns at their own speed, and it is very possible you are ready for grade 3, the skipping of lessons combined with the quick pace has me thinking you may possibly be skipping a bit too much.

To answer your original question, by the time I hit the later stages of grade 2, I knew that I was going to be primarily focused on rock music and was not interested in playing fingerstyle. I still watched the lesson and messed around with it a bit, but I did not put a ton of effort into that module since it was not furthering my goals. I feel like it is ok to skip around a little if you have good focus on the other things you want to learn, but make sure you still watching and attempting all of the lessons/exercises.



I just finished Grade 3. Because I was more focused on achieving the goal of playing Blues and Rock lead guitar, I decided to skip the Fingerstyle lessons and come back to them later. Besides, the Happy Birthday fingerstyle lesson was really kicking my butt, and “I’m not gonna need to know that stuff”.

What I never realized was that most of my favorite Blues and Rock players were playing those awesome licks and riffs by using “hybrid picking”, which is a combination of using the pick between your thumb and index finger and SIMULTANEOUSLY plucking strings with your other fingers. So now, I have to go back and practice those 5 fingerstyle lessons that I skipped because I thought they were irrelevant.

What I learned from this experience is that building a solid foundation in Grades 1-3 is important no matter what style of music you will ultimately follow. Shredders play fingerstyle, Bluegrass players use legato techniques, lead players use chords as part of their lead playing (arpeggios, triads, etc.). The finger and left/right hand independence you learn from practicing fingerstyle really comes in handy when you move on to hammer-ons & pull-offs, two-hand tapping, etc.



I watched and practiced all lessons. Practiced until the point of competence at least. Grades 1 - 4. The only thing I didn’t do was all the transcribing. My ear wasn’t developed enough then - I’m doing more ear training/transcribing these days.

You’ve got to ask yourself if you want to have all the basics under your fingers and be a well rounded guitarist.


I appreciate all your answers,

I do normally learn complete songs but sometimes I like to learn some riffs here and there that use different techniques or riffs with a unique chord progression. It’s also fun.

At this point this is my daily routine:

Warm up 5 min

F barre chord changes 5 min

Barre chords 5 min

Legato pentatonic 5 min

Scales 5 min

Alternate picking 5 min

Power chords 5 min

Sus chords 5 min

Triads 5 min

Chords up down the neck 5 min

Songs as long as I can…


Last kiss, wild thing, what’s up?, August, rocket man, no woman no cry, big me, wonderwall, free falling, twist and shout, down on the corner, day tripper, holy diver, seven nations army, rock you like a hurricane, when I come around, holiday, enter sandman, cliffs of dover (just kidding). A few riffs (la bamba, wish you were here, smells like teen spirit riff and solo!) and a couple songs that I created but I often change as I learn new things.

I think I will like to learn finger style but when I practiced “happy birthday “ I thought about skipping the finger style lessons until I improve other areas. I also would like to spend more time transcribing songs but I also think I need to dedicate more time and there’s already a lot on my plate.

I forgot to mention that I can play most of these songs without looking at my hands and some of them standing.


I definitely have and continue to do so. Sort of. As extensively noted in another current thread topic, people don’t all learn in the same style and manner. So, one approach won’t be best for everyone. Other than the initial segments, I don’t find that the lesson grades are all that sequential in skill demands or foundation building. All the information presented is clearly well communicated and beneficial; just not progressive as the names Grade One, Grade Two, etc would imply. Not the same as say math. Trying to to take Calculus II before taking Calculus I would have been a disaster for me back in the day.

I have found that many of the skills presented in a module are initially just a “taste” and then the topic switches completely in the following module. I like being introduced to a new topic, but want to explore it much more in depth before jumping into something else. Thus, I’ll do a search and scan for other lessons on that same topic no matter what grade they happen to be in.

One example - Barre chords are typically presented as some daunting task and should be approached with fear and trepidation gradually over time. I think that these chords should be introduced (very) early and are easier to memorize than open chords as there are fewer shapes. They allow quicker access to learning notes all over the fretboard as well as laying a foundation for grasping music theory if new to this. Easier to mute, easier to see the triad constructions, etc.

So, no, I don’t actually skip lessons; but I do skip around. As laid out, I don’t see the lesson grades as a linear pursuit, but all the information is important. Maybe Lesson Themes instead of Lesson Grades would suit my tastes better.


Absolutely. The lessons are there to serve you, not the other way around. As justin often says there are no rules.

The side effect of skipping means you may miss out on a possibly useful technique or other possibly useful item.

The other side effect of skipping means you have more time to work on the items / techniques that matter to you.


“Other than the initial segments, I don’t find that the lesson grades are all that sequential in skill demands or foundation building. All the information presented is clearly well communicated and beneficial; just not progressive as the names Grade One, Grade Two, etc would imply. “

I couldn’t have explained it better. That is exactly how I feel. It’s not that I’m no interested in finger style or transcribing songs but at this point I feel like I have to focus on my barre chords or scales or alternate picking and those are skills that take a long time to improve.

I will go back and learn the things that I feel are important to improve as a guitar player, but right now I’m trying to get better in the areas I’m more interested and the songs I want to play.

I totally agree. I understand all lessons are valuable but sometimes you have to decide how to spend the time you have to learn the skills you want to develop.

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Well I believe the regulars have kicked in here and there is not much more to say.

The first 3 beginner courses I am constantly seeing is worth every effort to have down almost all aspects. That’s been my mindset from the start and all the comments I see only enforces it!

I’m just touching grade 3 and some grade 4 stuff relavent to other courses. 2 years later that is.

Rock on!

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I can’t believe OP asked this question right now because I am having the exact same thoughts and I’m not that far behind him.

I am wanting to skip lessons, not because they’re not interesting to me, because they definitely are, but because I feel like they’re too hard. The Greensleeves lesson? Omg. Seems impossible at this level, and I’m surprised it was introduced with a completely new fingerstyle method this early in skill building. (Feels weird to consider Grade 3 to be so early in skill building considering there’s only 8/9 grades planned, and also seeing as I’ve been doing this over a year and a half, but here I am feeling like I have very little skill and still can’t do hardly anything on the guitar, so how can I feel like I could possibly be in Grade 3?)

I’m growing more and more scared of Grade 3 and not only because the elements seem difficult (I understand that all the new elements will be difficult until I put in the hours to learn them), but because I’m also hitting a major wall blocking progression because I still have no idea what songs to play. I hope the lessons continue to suggest songs or I’ll not be able to move forward otherwise. As OP stated in the original post, its just overwhelming because I feel like some lessons in modules 15 and 16 didn’t really focus on a specific exercise that I can do in practice to a song that uses that technique- the instruction was just “practice” (that nebulous term that stumps beginners who are trying to self teach.) But then on the other hand, after having just said that, I also feel like I have so many techniques to practice already that they’re fading away or getting lost because, again, I struggle with finding good songs to use what the current technique being taught is. I’m fine poking along with Justin during the videos, but when I try to start “practice,” I mentally fall apart.


@artax_2 It’s normal to feel overwhelm when starting grade 3. As I see it, grade 3 is an introduction to many techniques. And you don’t need to master all of them at 100% to move to the next module.

You can pratice an exercice for the recommended 5 minutes slot a few times a week for a few weeks, then you can move on. After that time, for some technique, you may be at 90% of mastery, and some others 50%.

If you find a song that you enjoy that need this technique and have the time, you can choose to work more on it. But, it’s not mandatory for each technique. The key element is to keep it fun.

Later in your journey, you may find a song you love and need to review a technique. But at least you’ll know it exists and know where to find more information about it. Even if you pratice it to 100% mastery today, in a year, you’ll still need to review anyway if you don’t use it regularly.


Hey Carlos,

Alot of great input here from those who have trodden the path. In the nearly 4 years I’ve been here, 2 things come to mind;

  1. In the Beiginner Course, grades 1-3, eat ALL your vegies. ( and even go back there when the menu changes). You’ll thank yourself later.

  2. Justin’s advice has never led me astray, and when I’ve followed it, I’ve prospered.

Cheers, Shane.